Thursday, January 21, 2016

NuGet: Powershell script to set ‘Build Action’ property of files to ‘Content’

One of the nice things you can do with NuGet is to trigger a Powershell script (Install.ps1) when the NuGet package is installed or removed.

From the documentation:

A package can include PowerShell scripts that automatically run when the package is installed or removed. NuGet automatically runs scripts based on their file names using the following conventions:

  • Init.ps1 runs the first time a package is installed in a solution.
    • If the same package is installed into additional projects in the solution, the script is not run during those installations.
    • The script also runs every time the solution is opened (Package Manager Console window has to be open at the same for the script to run). For example, if you install a package, close Visual Studio, and then start Visual Studio and open the solution with Package Manager Console window, the Init.ps1 script runs again.
  • Install.ps1 runs when a package is installed in a project.
    • If the same package is installed in multiple projects in a solution, the script runs each time the package is installed.
    • The package must have files in the content or lib folder for Install.ps1 to run. Just having something in the tools folder will not kick this off.
    • If your package also has an init.ps1, install.ps1 runs after init.ps1.
    • [NuGet 3.x] This script will not be executed in projects managed by project.json
  • Uninstall.ps1 runs every time a package is uninstalled.
    • [NuGet 3.x] This script will not be executed in projects managed by project.json
  • These files should be located in the tools directory of your package.
  • At the top of your file, add this line: param($installPath, $toolsPath, $package, $project)
    • $installPath is the path to the folder where the package is installed
    • $toolsPath is the path to the tools directory in the folder where the package is installed
    • $package is a reference to the package object.
    • $project is a reference to the EnvDTE project object and represents the project the package is installed into. Note: This will be null in Init.ps1. In that case doesn't have a reference to a particular project because it runs at the solution level. The properties of this object are defined in the MSDN documentation.
  • When you are testing $project in the console while creating your scripts, you can set it to $project = Get-Project

Remark: Be aware that this no longer works in NuGet 3.x when you use the new project.json approach.

One of the things you can use it for is to interact with Visual Studio when a NuGet package is deployed. This makes it really powerful and allows you to do things like changing project settings, altering file properties,… For example, I have a NuGet package that includes some custom webfonts. When the package is installed the fonts should be included in the web project and the file property ‘Build Action’ should be set to ‘Content’. Here’s a script that allows you to do this:

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